2y/o and body part investigations -- help! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 05-27-2005, 03:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm clueless here. The two year old of our household has been asking to see my partner's penis -- a lot. They sometimes bathe together, and she knows that he has a penis, and she and I have yonies.

Some relations were visiting recently and our "open bathroom door" policy was ammended out of courtesy for them, and we explained it by talking about some people needing "privacy" sometimes. We are very open with our bodies and don't wish to communicate shame. This was about the only time we've ever talked about privacy/body issues. It simply hasn't come up before. But now my partner is feeling pretty uncomfortable with these repeated requests to whip it out, YK?

We are looking for help communicating healthy boundaries, without condescension. We just end up looking at each other with bewildered looks on our faces. I am posting here rather than "toddlers" because I'm specifically looking for advice that doesn't take a condescending view of children.

How have you handled situations like this?
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#2 of 10 Old 05-27-2005, 04:30 PM
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I'd suggest to tell her that daddy is very uncomfortable with her asking him about his penis. Tell her you know she's curious, but, there are times where it just isn't appropriate. Also explain to her that private parts are just that, private. I've already taught my DD that no one washes her yoni but her, and she does a darn good job at it too. I would pick up some age appropriate reading material as well.

It would go better if HE relayed the request to her to stop asking, and get him to explain to her that it makes him uncomfortable, since it IS HIS anatomy right? It would show that he respects her as an individual, instead of going behind her back and getting you to do it KWIM??
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#3 of 10 Old 05-27-2005, 05:02 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ohmtaretu
But now my partner is feeling pretty uncomfortable with these repeated requests to whip it out, YK?

We are looking for help communicating healthy boundaries, without condescension.
I feel neutral about nudity, and dh and I are often nude around dd. But I (personally) would be uncomfortable "whipping it out", lol, cause that would feel invasive to me. I am covered because I want to be covered, kwim?

Maybe I would explain it that way. Dh could say "I am dressed now, and I choose to remain dressed. Would you like to look at a book with pictures of people?" and then have some sort of children's anatomy book for her to explore or something.
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#4 of 10 Old 05-31-2005, 01:09 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Pandora114
I've already taught my DD that no one washes her yoni but her, and she does a darn good job at it too.
How old when you were able to teach her this? I'd like to teach my dd too, but she's only 14 months and in no way could clean herself.
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#5 of 10 Old 05-31-2005, 01:15 PM
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I gave her a bath poof, and said "Wash your vulva" and pointed to where I wanted her to wash, and that was it. Also, she showers with me at times, so she sees how I wash. they learn by example. Then as she's washing HER yoni, I tell her no one but her should wash there during tubby. *Diaper changes are a bit difficult yet, and I still assist with the wipes but she tries*
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#6 of 10 Old 05-31-2005, 01:26 PM
 
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I think the best way to do it is plainly and w/o embarassment.

We've already begun to teach DD about privacy. She understands that, while some ppl may be comfortable w/ her hanging out in the bathroom w/ them and DH, me, and even my mom are totally comfortable showering w/ her, some ppl are not comfortable and that's OKAY!!!!! I feel that teaching her to respect the privacy of others is also a way to teach her that it's okay for her to demand privacy when she wants/needs it.

We haven't had to tackle the issue of touching other ppl's body's so much...but we do discuss "respecting eachother's bodies" which includes not jumping or climbing on someone, or pulling at their clothes, etc. We talk about allowing others to tell us how much contact they want (as in hugging, kissing, etc) and NEVER forcing somebody to be affectionate against their will, reading body language telling us they don't want contact, etc.
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#7 of 10 Old 05-31-2005, 01:45 PM
 
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When Abi was at that age we let her observe him in the shower (we have glass doors) a few times but also said that was a private part. We defined which parts were private. It was a good first talk about safety later on too-- that it's okay if mommy or daddy wash your private parts, or sometimes the doctor may have to look, but no one else should ever touch them because they belong to you. I also said when you are old enough to clean them all by yourself then we won't have to help you anymore.

The next time she wanted dh to turn around in the shower to show his parts we said those were Daddy's private parts and he didn't want to share them right now. She seemed to understand because she rarely has asked about it since.

Now she still wants to talk about how girls and boys are different and we are open with her about talking, but we don't do show and tell anymore. I have the open door policy with showers and I'm comfortable with that (out of practicality-- it's hard to take a private shower when you are caring for 2 young children) but dh isn't anymore.

About a year ago Abi started saying she needed privacy when using the bathroom and we respect that. But she still calls for someone to wipe her afterwards. :LOL

7yo: "Mom,I know which man is on a quarter and which on is on a nickel. They both have ponytails, but one man has a collar and the other man is naked. The naked man was our first president."
 
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#8 of 10 Old 06-01-2005, 11:02 AM
 
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We have had unembaraced nudity since birth. And everything is natural.

2 yo is such a good age to begin "how we are made". No embaracement, maybe some giggles.

We have a strict "no touch" policy though.

9yo dd is totally cool when dad walks to the shower, or goes out the the washing line to get undies.

5yo dd makes a huge song and dance (literally!) and we all go

If you are having problems with a 2 yo, it will only get harder for you! Start now, and get it over with!

Hope this helps

a

The anti-Ezzo king
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#9 of 10 Old 06-03-2005, 01:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the great ideas. Isn't it wonderful to be able to post something here when your brain goes on holiday? I was really caught off-guard by this.

What seems profoundly important here is exactly what many of you suggested: modeling healthy boundaries. This feels so tricky for me. Ever since she was born, she's pretty much had free access to my body, YK? She twiddles and pounces, writhes and wriggles, and nurses on demand. She's getting bigger, of course, so all that wriggling and twiddling is certainly starting to annoy. And now I have to figure out how to communicate healthy physical respect without it feeling like rejection.

Also, I'm interested in figuring out how to help her develop good boundary skills w/o just scaring the daylights out of her about strangers and life and such. I need a "protecting your children from sexual preditors" course, I think. I don't want her to live in fear, and I also would like her to be as prepared as possible to handle something icky very skillfully. Is that even possible?
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#10 of 10 Old 06-03-2005, 02:07 AM
 
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We have always been open and non-embarassed about body parts here....well, I have. Dh is a bit uncomfortable and I have asked him to try to hide his discomfort behind honesty because I think if dd sees that she can get a reaction from him by saying things like "can I see your penis?" then she will continue to focus on it!

While I think teaching about private parts is important I personally think 2 might be a bit young for that...or at least for them to understand the concept. What I have done is just had these discussins matter of factly. Here's an example: Once dh and dd (a little over 2 yr old at the time) were sitting on the couch. She was patting his leg and his lap gently and absent mindedly. Then she looked at what she was doing and asked "Daddy, is your penis in your undies?" He was a bit taken back and said "Uh, yeah" sort of nervously. She went on to say "Daddy has a penis". I picked up here and said "Yes he does. And what else does he have? An arm? A nose?...." and we went on to talk about all sorts of body parts that Daddy has. My aim was to take the charged energy off the penis and to move the discussion to all the parts.

She has asked to see my vulva too. I simply said no and she said "ok" and finished getting dressed after my shower. I am trying not to make a big deal about our parts.

"To err is human, to forgive, canine." - Unknown
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